Buhari Approves Skeletal Services By Banks, Others, Ahead Of Lock down

Perhaps swayed by the telling implications of the restrictions of movement in Lagos, the nation’s commercial and economic nerve centre; neighbouring Ogun; and Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory, to the nation’s economy, President Muhammadu Buhari has approved “very skeletal operations in the Financial System and Money Markets.”
A notice to stakeholders and the general public on the restriction of movement and persons jointly signed Mrs. Zainab Ahmed and Godwin Emefiele, Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning and Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) respectively, said the exemption is “in order to keep the system in light operations during this time.”
Another statement, also on Monday, said relevant security agencies have been requested to grant passage to the critical staff of the apex bank, Deposit Money Banks (DMBs), The Nigeria Interbank Settlement System (NIBSS) Plc, switching companies, mobile money operators, payment solution service providers.
This, he noted, “is to enable essential and strategic financial transactions to go undisrupted during the period of the lockdown.”
The restrictions in personal and vehicular movement directed by the President in his speech of Sunday 29 March 2020, they noted, was appropriate and proactive, given the devastating effects of the novel Coronavirus (Covid-19) on many countries around the world already.
According to the statement released by Isaac Okorafor, Director, Corporate Communications at the CBN, Ahmed and Emefiele said the “restrictions are critical to significantly reduce the transmission rate of the disease and make it much easier for health professionals to trace, test and isolate patients.”
The Presidential waiver, they noted, has become necessary given “the difficulties these restrictions would bring on ordinary Nigerians and are grateful to the President for approving these exemptions, which should help ease some of these burdens.”
While urging Nigerians to be patient, cooperative and united to defeat the virus, the statement added that the waiver will “ensure that Nigerians can still perform online transactions and use ATMs whilst observing these restrictions.”
All relevant staff of affected outfits and agencies, the duo continued, should look out for further instructions from their immediate bosses.”
In view of the ongoing restrictions and in order to check further spread of the coronavirus disease, the CBN urged “the general public to limit their use of cash and avail themselves of the use of alternative payment channels such as mobile banking, internet banking, Mobile money, Point of Sale, and USSD.”
He assured that financial institutions will remain operational during this period and therefore should guard against panic withdrawals from their banks, while Nigerians should adhere “strictly to the movement restrictions and follow stipulated guidelines by the Federal Ministry of Health, Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and other relevant health agencies of government to curb the possible spread of the virus in Nigeria.”

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